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“Extremely helpful guides and a beatiful house” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Fairfax House

Fairfax House
Castlegate, York YO1 9RN, England
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Top Rated
and up
The York Pass
Ranked #19 of 213 things to do in York
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: Step back in time when you visit this 18th-century town house, one of the finest examples of rococo decoration in England with its famous Terry collection of furniture and clocks.
Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
37 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Extremely helpful guides and a beatiful house”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2010

The thing I remember most about my visit here (a few days ago) is how enthusiastic and helpful the staff (I think volunteers?) here were. In every room there was somebody who just seemed desperate to tell you as much as they possibly could about the house and the Fairfax family as well as the work done to restore the house. They realy did make a great difference as otherwise we would probably have left thinking it was ok but nothing special. Instead we left having had a thoroughly satisfying experience.

The house is a beautiful Georgian piece of art in itself. The ceilings are simply stunning. When you hear about what had been done to the house before the restoration works it seems amazing that this is still here to see at all. You do however have to remember that the furniture is not that which belonged to the Fairfax family when they lived here. It is authentic Georgian furniture and beautiful in its own right and has been put here to help recreate the idea of what teh house would have been like, but not the stuff originally here.

If you are visiting Jorvik or the York Castle Museum this is a great place to add to your "to do" list.

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United Kingdom
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Not to be missed in York”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2010

Fairfax House is a gem!

Don't be misled by the entrance steps leading up to the shop/ticket office - which give you a false impression of what you are going to find. Once you have bought your ticket, you enter the house 'proper' - which is the most lovely Georgian townhouse.

I love Fairfax House for lots of reasons. For a start, it is a very manageable size - the sort of house that you can wander around and imagine yourself living in very comfortably.

The plasterwork is beautiful and intricate. If you have time when you visit, find out about all the imagery reflected in the plasterwork. It is just like the Da Vinci Code with lots of hidden "messages" showing support to Rome and the Catholic cause whilst sticking two fingers up to the monarchy! (The Fairfax family were Catholic, the monarchy was not). Another amazing thing about the plasterwork is that it survived the period (1970's?)when Fairfax House was used as a nightclub with the ceilings painted black!

There is a lovely band of room hosts who are at hand with lots of information about the house.

Often, Fairfax House has exhibitions in the display area at the end of the tour round the house. They had a particularly good one last year - a display of gold and silver fish/cake slices. Sounds bizarre, but was absolutely fascinating.

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Melbourne Australia
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85 reviews 85 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“A great tour”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2009

We had already seen a fair bit of Georgian architecture on our trip to the UK so had not originally planned to stop here. However as entry was included with our Great British Heritage Pass we decided to take a look. On Friday entry to the house is by guided tour and we were lucky enough to have a wonderful guide that really brought this ornately decorated house to life.

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209 reviews 209 reviews
63 attraction reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
“Very informative”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2009

Faifax house is not far from the castle museum and is tucked away down a little street. It's a lovely old house with lots of furnature owned by the rowntree (chocolate people) family. Very informative and well worth a visit if you are interested in historical period houses.

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